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Empathic Listening

The Key to Communication

Communication is said to be the most important skill in life. And effective communication always comes down to one thing--mutual understanding. Based on the premise "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood" (Habit 5 from Stephen R. Covey's ground-breaking book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People) this program explains empathic listening and shows how it helps us understand and successfully communicate with others.

  • Develops listening skills that improve people's ability to influence and problem-solve
  • Helps to achieve higher levels of trust throughout the organization
  • Reduces costs associated with misunderstandings

Download sample training guide
Includes sample pages from the leader's guide and participant materials.

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Empathic Listening

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One of the biggest obstacles in interpersonal communication is our tendency to respond autobiographically--meaning from our own frame of reference. We advise, probe, interpret, and evaluate others' messages based on our own experiences and motives. In listening, an autobiographical response prevents us from clearing our minds enough to really hear and feel what is being said.

Conversely, when we listen with the intent to understand ("empathically"), we are able to gain insights into another person's thoughts and feelings more accurately. Empathic listening is both an attitude and a skill.

The Empathic Listening program contains 3 separate video components and a corresponding workshop that provide solid instruction on this key communication skill. Participants are given practical tips and specific phrases they can incorporate immediately into their daily conversations to ensure that they are listening with the intent to understand.

Participants learn to:
  • Diagnose before they prescribe
  • Listen empathically
  • Seek to be understood from the other's perspective

Included in the package are:
  • Nobody's Listening - Depicts what happens when a manager fails to listen to the concerns of a subordinate. With a second chance to practice the art of active listening, a number of problems are averted. (11 minutes)
  • Diagnose Before You Prescribe - Stephen R. Covey provides insights on this key step in the empathic listening process. (8 minutes)
  • I Know Just What You Mean - Shows the difference between listening with the intent to respond and listening with the intent to understand. It also demonstrates techniques that minimize misunderstanding and miscommunication. (21 minutes)
  • Tonesetter - Video of inspirational quotes and music to play before the workshop and during breaks. (10 minutes)

A FranklinCovey Proprietary Title


Chaptered DVD containing:
  • Nobody's Listening video
  • Diagnose Before You Prescribe video
  • I Know Just What You Mean video
  • Tonesetter video
  • Facilitator Guide PDF on the DV-Rom
  • PowerPoint Presentation on the DV-Rom
  • reproducible Participant Guidebook PDF on the DV-Rom


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